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Braised Red Snapper Puttanesca

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

Black sea bass makes a good substitute for snapper in this recipe. If you buy a whole fish, see how to fillet a whole fish


  • 4 5-oz. skinless red snapper fillets (about 3/4 inch thick)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 2 14-1/2-oz. cans petite-diced tomatoes
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise (about 3 oz.)
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs. capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp. red-wine vinegar

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 320
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 150
  • Fat (g): 17
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 50
  • Sodium (mg): 1360
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 31


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Season the snapper all over with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.
  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over mediumlow heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice, anchovies, olives, 2 Tbs. of the basil, capers, and pepper flakes to the pan. Bring the sauce to a brisk simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are tender and the juices have reduced to a saucy consistency, about 8 minutes.
  • Nestle the snapper fillets into the sauce, spooning some on top to keep the fish moist. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Tightly cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and braise in the oven until the fish is almost cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness.
  • With a slotted spatula, transfer the snapper to 4 shallow serving bowls. If the sauce seems too thin, simmer over medium-high heat until thickened to your liking. Stir the remaining 1 Tbs. basil and the mint and vinegar into the sauce and spoon it over the fish.

Serve with polenta or couscous.


Rate or Review

Reviews (7 reviews)

  • chefwannabe | 10/31/2018

    I was looking for a fish recipe to go over polenta and this one worked nicely . I used fresh chopped Roma tomatoes. I did find that 325 degree oven was too low and slow I ended up broiling it for a few minutes after baking for 20 minutes . I found it didn't need any additional salt with the olives and anchovies .

  • Janasans | 03/17/2017

    This was great. Only modifications I made were using fresh tomatoes (3 medium), parsley instead of mint, a glug of white wine instead of vinegar, and anchovy paste (about 1T). I found that I had to crank up the oven temp too to about 375-400 to get the fish done and sauce bubbling. Took a few more minutes, but if I had started on higher temp, I think it would have gone faster. Still a winner!

  • highheat | 10/03/2009

    Used sauce just with pasta. Doubled garlic and added a splash of red wine instead of vinegar. Cooked about 20 minutes so sauce thickens. Added cooked pasta to pan with sauce and added grated italian cheese - very good quick meal.

  • G.K. | 03/31/2009

    Excellent recipe. Red snapper really shines here.

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